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Old 02-05-2017, 04:13 PM
BARgunner BARgunner is offline
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Default Best automatic powder dispenser?

I've decided to move into the 21st century and purchase an automatic powder dispenser because either I'm getting lazier or I just don't have the patience or time to hand weigh and trickle charge for a couple of hundred 308 cases at a time. I've looked at some YouTube videos but I was hoping to get some advice as to which one to get for reloading rifle cartridges in 200+ runs. I will need one that holds a decent amount of powder and that dispenses accurately. If you have personal experience with one brand or another, I'd like to hear your recommendations and any pros or cons.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:19 PM
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I think accurate powder dispensing if affected by powder choice. If using ball powder, just about any dispensing system will be consistent. If using flake or extruded powder, not so much.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:36 PM
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I load 300 WBY, 264 Win Mag, 30-06, 22-250, and others, but these the most. I bought a RCBS Chargemaster and am very happy. I check every 5 or so drops on a Dillon scale and just don't have any issues at all.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:38 PM
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A powder dispenser dispenses and weighs the powder all in one unit. All of them will dispense to the target value, with an occasional over-shoot of 0.1gn. One can use that charge, touch the powder with a finger to remove one or two kernels of powder to get the target charge, or throw it back in the hopper.
A powder MEASURE just drops a volume of powder and, unless you weigh every drop, you'll never know (or care) if every charge was the target value.
The problem with going on a forum to ask what is the best anything is that almost none of us have used more than one of most things and certainly NOT all that are available.
I can say that I hated my RCBS powder dispenser I had about 20 years ago (it was re-branded PACT unit) and I love my RCBS ChargeMaster I bought about 10 years ago.
However, since I am completely happy with my RCBS unit, I have zero interest in checking out the latest Lyman or Hornady or RCBS units.
The best you can do is Google "powder dispenser reviews." It used to be that magazine did this for you, but for about the last 20 years magazines have become quite useless and spend most "reviews" just telling you how great the latest advertiser's equipment is.

Last edited by noylj; 02-05-2017 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:42 PM
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I use the hand drop tube for my rifle powder drops.........

Ball powder is good,
so is the small grain powders for the 308 like 4895 and 4320.

A little "Crunch" now and then never hurt my loads or accuracy.
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:26 PM
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I have a Lyman DPS 3 and love it
No experience with any other
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Old 02-05-2017, 06:46 PM
BARgunner BARgunner is offline
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I already have several powder measures that throw ball or flake powders very accurately but they aren't too good with extruded powders. I'm looking for a dispenser for extruded rifles powders that is accurate. I was hoping to get some personal user experiences of the RCBS or Hornady units. I absolutely agree about magazine reviews being biased towards advertising dollars.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:13 PM
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Default I've tried to make things easier and faster...

Short of getting a progressive press, one thing I decided was to quit trickling and weight charges unless I had a scoop that was reliable enough for a certain weight to do the job.

I'm on a tight budget so I got a Lee Powder Perfect. I haven't been able to get consistent charges with it and ended up weighing a lot of charges to check. I developed a pretty good procedure of putting a case on the scale and hitting 'tare' then dropping powder in the case and putting it back on the scale to check it. Still not what I wanted.

I just sprung for an RCBS Uniflow with the micrometer and small chamber. I haven't tested it yet, but from other people's comments, mainly on this forum, I'm pretty confident that it will work for me.

If I'm doing 2.8 grains of Bullseye for .38 targets, I'll probably still use the scoop. It's never let me down.

I see you are doing .308. I suppose with the large chamber that the measure comes with you can load .30 ca. range cases. A couple grains plus or minus in my 30-06 don't bother me much.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:42 PM
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I upgraded to a lee auto drum and get consistent throws with it.

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Old 02-05-2017, 08:55 PM
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I have had good results with the Hornady Lock n Load auto powder dispenser, very accurate but pricey. I still cross check every 10 rounds or so with a RCBS 505, old habits I guess. Usually takes two or three drops to start before being on the nose, then you're good to go.
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Old 02-05-2017, 09:30 PM
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Under 300yd, Harrell's for ball, Lee or Belding & Mull for sticks (IMR). 300yd or over, Prometheus. Don't want to pay for a Prometheus? Weigh.
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Old 02-05-2017, 10:50 PM
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A&D FX120i scale (~$560) and an attached Autotrickler ($230), total $790. This is ~3x the cost of a Chargemaster, but it works like a $3000? lease of a Promethius.

The Chargemaster is probably the best of them . . . but not likely to throw as accurately as a powder measure using ball/flake powder, probably as accurate with short sticks, and perhaps more accurate with long stick powders if you don't count overthrows. The problem is the scale, which may be made even worse depending on the level of RF noise in your environment.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:45 AM
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I have the Hornady Lock N Load and so far its been very accurate once its dialed in. and dialing it in is very easy. I checked often and its always on the money!
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:22 AM
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I just went through all of this! I have on press dispensers of different manufacturers, mostly Lee and Hornady, finally made the decision to go to an automatic powder dispenser "off press" for rifle and my 460S&W. Why? Because the Lee Pro disk works great for pistol(up to 44mag), but if you try the "double disk" for larger amounts of powder...it is awful! Powder leaks all over the place! I have the Lee Auto Drums, and some work, some don't, I blame it on the plastic parts! The Dillon powder measures are okay, but I had to spend more money on an expensive item to begin with to have a prayer at determining a consistent load, there are ZERO markings on the knob used to adjust powder and I needed a way to go up or down in small increments. At around $75 for the powder drop then another $15 for a knob...well, I bought 2 setups and figured there has to be a better way. So started looking at the automatic powder measures. I looked at them ALL pro's and cons and ended up with the RCBS Chargemaster combo. Normally these things are around $300+ dollars and is the most expensive one (of course) I saw available, so read a bunch of articles and comparison videos on you tube, accuracy of your measurement is #1 but you also need to make sure that emptying the machine is easy, and a lot of other little things, like being able to program loads into it (I load for about 20 different calibers). In the end I chose the Chargemaster, found it for around $250 on Natchezz(2 weeks ago) and couldn't be happier. First load was 51gr's of H110 for my S&W XVR in 460...I compared it's displayed weight with my RCBS 10-10 beam scale and it was right on. So if you are going to spend the money do the research and make your decision...I will tell you that when ever a comparison is done, with ANY of the other auto-powder dispensers, the RCBS Chargemaster Combo (make sure you get the combo) won decisively.
Good luck with the search!

Last edited by mazer; 02-06-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:58 AM
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RCBS Competition Powder Measure

RCBS #: 98910

Everything* you need to throw accurate charges.

*You will need a scale to set it.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:20 AM
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I've been extremely happy with my Lyman 1200 DPS 3. It replaces a scale, powder measure and powder trickler. I really like it for loading high pressure rounds, as well as, match ammo.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:18 PM
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Used RCBS Chargemaster Combo for some years now. I liked it right away and wished I had popped for it sooner. I just use it for rifle and dump for pistol.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:36 PM
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I had an older RCBS Uniflow that threw accurately but it disappeared during a recent move so I bought a new one about a year ago and it isn't on par with the older one I had. The new one seems to have a lot more built in tolerance and the charges it throws can be up to +/- 2gr which has caused me to have to weigh every charge. From the videos I've watched and the recommendations on here, I've narrowed it down to a few choices.
I tried a friend's Harrell's Precision and I didn't think it did that well with extruded powders like IMR4895. I'm going to look further into the Belding & Mull which I've never heard of, the RCBS Chargemaster and the Hornady unit. I apppreciate all the input from the members. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:25 PM
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I have the RCBS Chargemaster and really like it.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:50 PM
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Default Lyman Gen 6

The only one I've used is the Lyman "Gen 6 Compact Touch-Screen Powder System" - I bought one for myself for Christmas. I've only used it with 4895 powder to load .30-06, 7.62 NATO and 5.56mm/.223 Rem. The instructions could be a little better but I've had good results with it. Powder charges are usually 'right on the money'. Occasionally I get a charge that meters out one tenth grain off but its easy to dump back in the hopper. It meters out the charges surprisingly fast. Warranty is only one year.
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Old 04-18-2020, 07:47 PM
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Love your comments. Absolutely cynical, but absolutely correct. I feel exactly the same way.
Cheers, irish32339jack
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:26 PM
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I bought a Lyman DPS about 2002. I have had one upgrade to it and it still functions great. I had to change loading methods from depriming and sizing 50-100 cases, weighing 50-100 loads of powder and seating 50-100 bullets. I now deprime, charge a case and seat the bullet and the powder is ready to fill the next case.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:39 PM
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I bought the RCBS Chargemaster many years ago and have loaded tons of rifle rounds using it. For about 10 years made a trip to SD to prairie dog hunt and weighed & loaded roughly 2500rds each year for the trip (223, 22-250, 25-06). Great for working up test loads for my 300 Blackout and 223 & 308 match loads.

My unit came with one plastic "pan" and I ordered a second and using hot glue got both "pans" to tare at the exact same amount. I can remove a full "pan", replace with the empty "pan" and while I'm dumping the full "pan", the other "pan" is being refilled in auto mode.

Emptying the hopper is fairly easy and I've not had any issues with drifting of the scale.

Not perfect but it has been reliable.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:56 PM
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I also like the Hornady LocnLoad, it is a perfect match to my loading process, charge a case,put the pan back on the scale, seat the bullet and "beep" ready for another.
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Old 04-21-2020, 01:28 PM
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I've read reviews on most of the major makers of these things, and I think I will just set up my Lyman 55 & RCBS meaures with a scale and keep on keeping on. Too many problems with the new fangled dispensers, according the the folks that have tried them.
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Old 04-21-2020, 01:50 PM
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I wonder how many changes have been made since the OP asked in 2017?
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:20 PM
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Is there not a powder dispenser on a press accurate enough that you don't need one of these electronic contraptions?
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
I wonder how many changes have been made since the OP asked in 2017?
Good catch, Rule3! Necroed 3 year old thread.
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